How to Write Talent-Attracting Job Specifications for Your Roles

How to Write Talent-Attracting Job Specifications for Your Roles

Writing a good job description is an art.  

While anyone can throw together a quick list of characteristics they need in a new employee, creating a document that attracts the right talent takes careful strategy and planning.  

When you're trying to fill an open position in your business, creating the perfect specs is the ultimate first step. Your job description gives your specialist recruitment agency insight into what you're looking for, and it gives you an opportunity to start selling yourself to potential candidates.  

An effective job description can make the difference between instantly drawing top-tier talent to your organisation, or spending hours of wasted time interviewing for a role you don't fully understand how to fill.  

So, how do you ensure you include the right information in your specs? 

 

1. Know What You Need  

It's impossible to get the ideal person for any role without first knowing what you need.  

If your recruitment process involves a lot of guessing or "gut instincts" then it might be time to review your strategy. Your staff members aren't just there to take up space. They have a distinct purpose in driving the success of your company. Take some time to think about what you want and need from your new employee. For instance: 

  • What tasks will they complete for your business? 

  • How will their role work in tandem with other team members? 

  • What are the skills they'll need to excel in their role? 

 
Once you understand exactly what you need for your organisation, you can speak to your recruitment group and ask for their suggestions on what kind of hire would be best for you. Your hiring professionals can also offer advice on any critical characteristics you may have missed.  

 

2. Be Ready to "Sell" the Job 

Once you know what you're looking for, it's time to tailor your job description to appeal to the right person. Start by speaking to your existing employees and asking them what they like most about working with you.  

Do you offer a great wellness strategy or plenty of options for career development? Would your new hire be drawn to the fact that they can schedule flexible days when they need them most? Finding ways to make your position more attractive can simplify the recruitment process.  

Remember, though highlighting benefits and great company culture is useful, don't underestimate the appeal of the work itself. Many top-tier candidates are looking for ways to challenge themselves in rewarding positions with innovative new technology on the manufacturing floor, or new software in the finance sector. Look at what makes the day-to-day work such a great opportunity.  

 

3. Help Your Candidates Understand the Position  

As you examine your role, create a list of essential information that your team members need to know about the job. Remember, people will be hunting through your job specs for signs that the position matches their career plan, it's important to make sure that you don't overlook anything that may lead to confusion at a later stage.  

One of the biggest reasons that new employees don't work out in their roles is that they didn't fully understand what the employer wanted from them to begin with. In fact, 50% of HR managers say that poor expectations caused by confusing job descriptions cause staff turnover. Use the body of your job description to cover everything an applicant needs to know about a day in the life of a consultant, engineer, account manager, or whatever you're hiring for 

Look at: 

  • Standard responsibilities 

  • Challenges and deadlines 

  • Who they'll be working with 

  • Essential skills and knowledge  

 
4. Clarity Counts - Keep it Simple  

Short and simple job descriptions are often the most effective.  

You'll need to be very clear and specific about what you need from a staff member to ensure that you get the right responses. However, be careful to list only what you truly need. A complex or highly challenging job description can scare people away. In fact, one study found that female candidates will only apply for jobs if they have 100% of the talents listed 

To avoid overwhelm, list your must-have certifications, characteristics, and experience in bullet-point form, and eliminate any industry jargon.  

Slang from your sector might not translate for top-tier talent from a different background. Clear communication will help to deliver the most diverse selection of people for your role.  

 
5. Use Keywords and Well-Known Titles 

Finally, one of the easiest ways to make sure you're attracting the right talent to your roles is to use words they can resonate with 

While a creative title like "Manufacturing Master" or "Finance Ninja" might seem like a fun way to show your organisation's personality, they can also eliminate your chances of showing up in search results. Your job seekers are searching for specific titles and keywords, so make sure they find them in your job specs.  

Before you post anything with your specialist recruitment agency, go through your description carefully and look for anything that might be driving candidates away. This is your first chance to make a lasting impression on fresh talent - don't let it go to waste.